Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the theme of the readings that we hear is sin and forgiveness of that sin, which had been the bane for all of us men. Sin came about because of the disobedience which we had shown to the Lord, when we chose to listen to the words and sweet temptations of Satan rather than listening to the will of God.
In the first reading, taken from the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we heard the account of how mankind fell into sin for the first time, the sin of our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, who listened to the wicked serpent, that is Satan, eating the fruits of the forbidden tree which God had forbid them to eat from. That tree of knowledge of good and evil is the reason why we mankind have ever since been exposed to evil and to sin, which is because of our inability to distinguish between the two due to the limitation of our intelligence, wisdom and abilities.
We were too greedy, brothers and sisters in Christ, and since the days of our ancestors, we have desired to seek many things that we ought not to have with us. As a result, we fall into a state of disgrace and separation from the love of our God. Sin entered into us, and we are rendered sick, blinded, deafened and made mute by the taints of that sin.
And yet, someone did not give up on us, no matter how fallen and wicked we have become, and no matter how hopeless we appear to have become. And that One is our Lord Himself, who loved us so much beyond everything else. He loves us all and He is concerned about us, worried about the fate which will be ours if we continue to walk on this path towards disaster, that is the path of sin.
That is why in the Gospel today we heard the story of when Jesus our Lord healed the deaf and dumb man, whom the Lord healed by the outpouring of His mercy and love, to open the ears and the mouth of the man and enable him to finally speak and listen again. Indeed, to listen to the wonders of the nature, all of God’s creation, and to speak of the Lord’s glory and everlasting life for all of us.
Too long we have dwelled in the darkness, and too long we have been corrupted by the snares of Satan. We have been blinded, made deaf and mute by the sins which Satan had tempted us with, and with our desires and greed piling up and growing, it is increasingly becoming more and more difficult for us to escape from the snares and the chains that kept us in this world of darkness. But, our salvation comes from the Lord, and He personally came to ensure that all of us be saved from the dangers of death and annihilation because of our sins.
In baptism according to the traditional and reverent rite, the same ritual is performed, following what Jesus did to the man, by touching the ears and the tongue with spittle, and saying the words ‘Ephphata!’ which means, ‘be opened!’. This is to symbolise that through baptism, our Lord had lifted us up from the darkness of sin, and by cleansing us with the holy water of baptism, He had unveiled from us, the true light that exists within us, dispelling all the veils and the falsehoods that Satan had planted all around us.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all recall our own baptism, the time when we have the waters of baptism being poured onto us. Baptism is the important moment in time when we are freed from the shackles of sin that hold onto us, and brought by the Lord to enter into His eternal light. Thus, as we remember our own baptism, let us all renew our commitment of faith to God, and awaken in us all the passion and desire to love Him more and more.
Let us all shun all forms of sin, repent and be glad once again, for our Lord had come to liberate us, and all of us who believe in Him, will not be disappointed, but will forever enjoy the grace and love of our Lord. God bless us all. Amen.